Nomads of the Sahara – Part 4
Salm – the free nomad
Moha-the greatest nomad
After the death of Moha’s father, his family had to sell their pack of goats and settle in the village of M’hamid. They thought the desert manifested the loss of their father. But Moha, unlike the rest of his family, decided to stay in the desert. The family wanted to sell their camels to raise money because there was no-one old enough to take over the job of herding the pack. But Moha refused to sell.
So, when he was 14 years old, he went herding a big pack of camels as the family had no income after his father death. Moha had to carry so much responsibility by himself at young age. He was alone and small but he was strong. At that time, there was a huge migration of nomads to the south of Morocco. He joined some other nomads and he migrated too. The way was long but he got there, to very south of Morocco! And he stayed for few years. When he returned home he got to be one of the best known nomads as he had so many camels, many more than other desert nomads of Morocco.
Mobarak – the storyteller nomad
Mobarek is usually referred to as Amghar which is a term of endearment and respect for an old man. He was born in the time that cattle were the only source of income, in a town named Benssour. After political borders were drawn, this part of the desert became Algeria not Morocco. He lived through the Sand Wars but his family were evicted from their pasture lands by the Algerian army during the Sand War in 1963. They were dislocated again (pushed into Morocco) after the Green March in 1975.
The limitation and war has had a huge impact on the family’s life, whilst they still kept to the only lifestyle they had ever known. But Amghar found his passion in herding his animals and being around them. He got married but later his wife died leaving him with 5 children. He married again and fathered another 3 children with his new wife. After the death of his father, their heritage was split between him and his siblings from which he received a small herd of around 100 heads.
Sadly his children didn’t want to live the same nomadic life style, so he was left alone to deal with all of it; Consequently, he had to sell his cattle and with the money he bought some desert land and built himself a house. He now works with us as a guardian and guide and most of all as a storyteller but will always remain one of the desert nomads of Morocco in his heart.
To get to know more about the life of a nomad, come on one of our authentic desert treks in Merzouga, Morocco. For more information or just to chat with someone who has done these treks themselves – email us on firstname.lastname@example.org